So, earlier this week I had had one of *those* days. You know the kind; just nonstop and energy-draining. It happens. It happens with kids a lot. As usual, the fallout was that I crashed with J at bedtime, and left the mountain of dishes until the morning.
When I awoke the next morning to finish dealing with the previous day's mess before the current one's took over, I shuffled out to the kitchen and it was worse. To wit, someone had removed the drain plugs from both sides of the double sink and then rinsed rice into the drains (lovely). Also, ALL of the remaining clean dishtowels were in a sopping pile on the counter. "SEVEN?" I muttered not-under-my-breath. "SEVEN!?!" Not only did I have a slightly more messy kitchen to contend with, but now I was out of frickin' dishtowels.
I considered just lighting a match and walking away.
Okay, not really. But I was grouchy.
Because I figured that the TeenBoy (16yo stepson) had done some middle of the night kitchen-destroying. Or my husband had inexplicably felt the need to use up seven dishtowels before he left for work that morning. I don't know. I was just slamming around with my woe-is-Mom little stormcloud over my head and thinking bitter, self-pitying thoughts about the Inconsiderate People with whom I share space.
A little while later, while I was sulking and avoiding the kitchen, C woke up. He woke up happy. He came out, all smiles, and said, "Did you see what I did, Mom?"
He went on to explain that since I was so tired the night before, he thought he'd surprise me by scrubbing the crock from the slow cooker. Which he had. By hand. And it was sparkling and perfect.
And then [twist knife] he said, "I'm sorry I used so many towels. I spilled some water."
And I felt, oh, about this high.
Although truth be told, my heart kinda felt this big. Because my kid...my unintentionally messy kid...is so loving and kind.